Q&A with Renegade Executive Producer Louis Castle, executive vice-president and co-founder of Westwood Studios
Q: So, why an action game in the Command & Conquer universe, home to your strategy games?
When we were building the first Command & Conquer, we said to ourselves, “Wouldn’t it be great to be down there in the action, experiencing the battle first hand?” The action was fast and furious, the back-story fascinating, and the setting, full of exotic locales and technology, perfect for an action game.
The more we thought about it, the more the Commando character came to mind. In C&C, he’s about six pixels tall, but he made a huge impression with his sarcastic comments delivered just before blowing up a building. The more we thought about the Commando, the more the idea for the action game came into focus.
Through him, we’re able to bring players down to ground zero in the war between GDI and Nod. They will be able to live it up close as they plant C4 in a Hand of Nod or hijack a Nod vehicle to sneak into an enemy base.
Q: Sounds like there are still some strategy elements.
It’s very much an action game. Run, shoot, jump, blow stuff up, battle dozens of Nod troops with nothing but a big gun and your wits.
But yes, there are some tactical elements, all of which are consistent with the C&C universe. For instance, if you kill Nod’s power, the Obelisks of Light won’t work any more. If you blow up enemy SAM sites, your air support will be able to fly in and give you cover.
Q: What’s Havoc’s story?
Without revealing too much, I can say that Havoc is GDI’s secret weapon, the guy they call when things look the most desperate. He’s unpredictable, a rogue element. GDI is never too happy about having to use him: they know Havoc will get the job done, but he’ll also leave a lot of damage in his wake.
Q: Vehicles? We’ll see Nod Rocket Cycles and Harvesters and Orcas?
You’ll not only see them, but you’ll be able to ride around in them. You’ll fly an Orca, perfect for fighting and strafing Nod troops. You’ll hop in a Nod buggy and zip across the landscape to your next objective. Just about every vehicle from the original C&C will be in the game and usable.
Q: What about multi-player?
We’re going to have some awesome C&C style variations on the popular multiplayer games. For instance, instead of capture the flag, we’ll have capture Dr. Mobius. Dr. Mobius was an eccentric scientist from the first Command & Conquer, the man who first declared Tiberium to be a dangerous substance. In Capture Dr. Mobius, he’s basically a moving flag that you’ll have to lure into your base.
We’re looking at some other multi-player variations, which we’ll announce later. There’s so much we can do with this game, it’s tempting to do a little of everything. However, we’ve always preferred to do a few things very well.
Q: How does Renegade change the Command & Conquer universe?
It doesn’t really. The heart of the C&C line will always be the real-time strategy games. There will be a few more of those in the series.
Renegade is in addition to the strategy games. It gives fans of the series a new perspective on the C&C world, and I think it gives action gamers an experience unlike anything else.